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Six Korean firms in race for SCI contract

Six top firms from South Korea, the world’s biggest shipbuilding nation, two from China and one from India are competing for a contract estimated at $540 million (Rs2,554 crore) to build four so-called super tankers, or large crude carriers, for the state-run Shipping Corp. of India Ltd (SCI).

SCI will now shortlist the technically qualified applicants who can submit price bids for the contract. In the wake of the economic slowdown, shipbuilders are desperate to grab orders, with each super tanker costing around $135 million to build. Each super tanker can carry as much as 318,000 tonnes of crude oil.

Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, STX Shipbuilding and Hanjin Heavy Industries—all from Korea—have submitted initial technical bids for the contract. China’s Dalian New Shipbuilding Heavy Industries and Jiangsu Eastern Shipyard have also bid for the contract.

India’s newest private sector shipbuilder, Pipavav Shipyard Ltd, is the lone participant from the country.

In a market where new shipbuilding orders have dried up in the wake of the global financial crunch and slower demand for moving goods, shipbuilders are desperate to grab orders. Slower demand for transporting goods has pulled down ship hiring rates.

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